DC’s nonprofits, houses of worship can now apply for federal security grants

Houses of worship and nonprofit organizations in D.C. can now apply for federal security grant funds to help make their buildings safer.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office announced the new applications in a Friday statement, saying the funding is geared toward making nonprofit operations and religious sanctuaries safer through purchasing or enhancing security-related infrastructure, such as cameras, gates, locks, new doors and hiring or training security personnel.

“Houses of Worship are a vital part of our city. They continue to stand up for the most vulnerable members of our community and offer a safe place, but in doing so they have become vulnerable to those who defy and betray our shared DC values,” said Rev. Thomas L. Bowen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs.

“When we make sure that our Houses of Worship are protected, we not only protect our values, but we ensure that the institutions that we depend on in our greatest time of need are able to do so without fear or interruption.”

Eligible organizations may request up to $150,000 this year through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which is administered by D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).

“This grant is a critical opportunity for District nonprofit and faith-based partners to minimize their risks and vulnerabilities,” said HSEMA Director, Dr. Christopher Rodriguez.

“As threats against these communities continue to evolve, HSEMA remains committed to improving the safety and security of District residents and visitors. The facilitation of this grant is just one way we continue to build resilience within our communities.”

Applications must be submitted to HSEMA by Friday, April 23.

Additional information on the NSGP and complete qualification information can be found on HSEMA’s website.

Nonprofit organizations interested in applying are encouraged to attend a webinar sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Grant Programs Directorate, the news release said.

A list of upcoming webinars is available online.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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